Bill Simmons can’t help but wonder whether the 2019 season will mark Tom Brady’s final days on an NFL gridiron.
The Patriots just gave Brady a contract extension, reportedly resulting in an $8 million raise for the quarterback and an additional $5.5 million in cap space for New England. The deal reportedly will void on the final day of the 2019 league year, though, making the 42-year-old a free agent for the first time in his illustrious career and leaving Simmons to ponder whether Brady is planning on retiring after this season.
Simmons’ suspicions are amplified by Brady’s Brookline, Mass., home hitting the market, as the famous, Boston sports-loving media personality explained on the most recent episode of “The Ringer” podcast.
“See, this is my fear as a Pats fan,” Simmon said. “I wonder if he’s retiring after this year and this is all smoke and mirrors for, they just didn’t want to say he’s retiring after the year and have that be the storyline that just dominates the whole season.
“So, they’re paying him up front, they gave him more money, knowing that you can’t do that if he retires after the year. And then they’re just going to be like, ‘Only the three of us know. Nobody f—ing say anything. When people ask you about this, whatever.’ That, to me, ties all the puzzle pieces together, because then that would explain why you’re selling your house, that would explain why you took more money up front and didn’t push it back, all that stuff.”
The “three of us” Simmons refers to, of course, is Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft, although he subsequently acknowledged that Jonathan Kraft and Brady’s agent also might be aware of the quarterback’s plans. The wild card, according to Simmons, is Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, who once revealed her husband suffered a couple of concussions that went undocumented in his career.
Basically, no one knows what Brady plans to do beyond the 2019 campaign, even though he has said in the past he would like to play until he’s 45 years old. Thus, we’re left to speculate, likely while New England contends for a seventh Super Bowl title since Brady took over as the organization’s starting QB in 2001.